Liberal Arts Degrees Pay Off
Ed Kluska’s Astrology Newsletter
I have counseled many parents and their high school children about college decisions: where to go to college and what studies and degrees to pursue. With college costs and debts soaring, you want your children to be getting the right degree in the right city.
For quite a while, the financial practicality of getting a “STEM” degree has been favored. STEM is an acronym for the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics which are highly valued in our modern society with all the emphasis placed on computers, technology, cell phones, and social media, for example.
But a recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted that business and engineering graduates earned more right out of college, but that changes over the lifetime of a career.
“It’s no secret that liberal arts graduates tend to fare worse than many other counterparts immediately after college. The typical English or sociology graduate with zero to five years of experience earns an average of just $39,000 a year. By contrast, finance majors with that level experience earn $52,000, nursing $57,000, and computer science $63,000.
The story tends to change, however, as careers play out. Over time, liberal arts majors often pursue graduate degrees and gravitate into high-paying jobs such as general management, politics, law and sales.
And once people reach their peak earning ages of 56 to 60, liberal arts majors are earning an average of $66,000 which is about 3% ahead of vocational fields such as nursing and accounting, though it remains more than 20% behind science and engineering.
Even more striking, however, are earnings trends for ultra-achievers across all majors. Analyzing lifetime earnings for each discipline shows that the top 10% money makers, even philosophy and history majors, made more than computer science stars.”
Recent college graduates are landing hundreds of jobs with tech companies who value liberal arts studies. “I love hiring liberal arts graduates. They think broadly and communicate effectively. They aren’t stuck in a rut. They can challenge ideas. A philosophy major myself, I came up with many ideas for my company’s analytic tools by reflecting on Aristotle’s classification knowledge.”
A survey of recruiters found that four of the five traits that mattered most were hallmarks of a traditional liberal arts education: teamwork, clear writing, problem–solving aptitude, and strong oral communications. Mindful of those longer-term needs, some employees end up hiring humanities and social–services graduates, even if such measures aren’t explicitly singled out when recruiting. It’s easier to hire people who can write – and teach them how to read financial statements – rather than hire accountants in hopes of teaching them to be strong writers.”
The president of Reed College stated, “college shouldn’t prepare you for your first job, but for the rest your life. To give an example. This liberal arts school famously served as the starting point for Steve Jobs. Although he dropped out of Reed in the early 1970s, the Apple founder often credited the school with stretching his horizons in areas such as calligraphy which later influenced Apple’s design ethos.”
Let me know about your experiences? Are your degree(s) related to your career, life path and what you do now? And what would you have done differently?
Contact me to schedule a personal consultation so we can plan your future and you can know more about your relationships, career, education, finances, children, parents, travel, health, location, karma, and any issues in your life.
C.A. Certified Astrologer
45 Years in Practice
545 Ludlow Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220